As Garden City Middle School students plan science experiments with the goal of sending one to space in 2022, they received inspiring visits from NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center Public and Digital Engagement Specialist Laura Peterson recently. Now a California resident, Peterson is a Garden City alumna who attended Hemlock, Stewart and the district’s middle and high schools.
Peterson visited seventh grade science, journalism and home and careers classes over the two days and described the Armstrong Flight Research Center mission, and some of the aircraft and major initiatives. She discussed her role in the Strategic Communications office, which focuses on public affairs, social media, events, and exhibits. She also shared her recent experience at New York Comic Con, where she represented NASA and promoted its newly-released interactive graphic novel, First Woman.
Students learned that while the Armstrong facility focuses on aeronautics and NASA is renowned for its science and STEM-related opportunities, occupations encompass a wide range of other areas including the field of communications. They took the opportunity to ask Peterson many questions about her responsibilities and background. She explained that she majored in Communication Studies at SUNY Oneonta and held a marketing job with the United States Air Force 86th Force Support Squadron earlier in her career and shared the important aspects of her current job.
“We want to portray our great message and go the extra mile so that people want to see and learn more,” Peterson said of her role. “It’s important to keep people engaged.”
As each presentation concluded, students received NASA stickers and left excited for what their own future studies and vocations will involve.
—Submitted by Garden City Public Schools